In Brief

Baby 'stable' after five die in Co Donegal pier tragedy

Three children and two adults die after car slips from pier in Buncrana

A baby girl is in a stable condition in hospital after being rescued from a car in which five people drowned when it slipped from a pier in Buncrana, County Donegal.

Police said the victims - later named as Ruth Daniels, 57, her daughter Jodie Lee, 14, Sean McGrotty, 49, and his sons Mark, 12, and Evan, eight - died after the vehicle entered the water. 

A Garda spokesman said: "A baby girl was rescued from the car, with the assistance of a bystander. The baby is currently in a stable condition at Letterkenny General Hospital."

The incident, which police are treating as a tragic accident, happened at around 7.30pm last night and prompted a major air and sea rescue.

The circumstances of how the Audi Q7 SUV, which is believed to have a Northern Ireland registration plate, ended up in the water are not yet known.

Eyewitness Francis Crawford told the Irish Times how a man from Kerrykeel had "swam out to the car" and "really risked his life".

He continued: "I was hoping the car would stay afloat but all of a sudden it just went under. Within ten minutes, the family was all gone except the wee baby."

Crawford also described how the ambulance service had given mouth to mouth to the victims but he said "there was no hope, nothing was going to happen at that stage" as "too long had passed".

Local councillor Jack Murray suggested the pier's slippery surface had caused the car to slide into the water.

"It seems to be the case that the car was trying to manoeuvre and it then started to slip down on algae and it started to go into the water," he told the BBC.

Northern Ireland deputy first minister Martin McGuinness tweeted his sympathy for the victims' relatives. "Very sad news of fatalities in an incident at Buncrana pier tonight. Thoughts are with relatives of those involved and rescue services."

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